I just woke up suddenly to what I thoughts were the sounds of dog toenails, clickety-clack on the wood floor. I checked and Bobka was on the bed, asleep at my feet, Rik at my side. It might have been Pumpkin’s spirit roaming through the house.
Someday we will be together again, and Pumpkin will greet me over the rainbow bridge, his little tail wagging frantically with joy, and I will let him jump on me and lick my face and rub that special spot under his ears. Kitzel will come along, fluffy and furry, and she will sit on my shoulder and let me stroke her. Then Dunky, faithful friend of my youth, will arrive and the dogs will play together joyously in the tall green grass as Kitzel hunts nearby.
Oh my poor dear companions, who suffered so in their last days. I didn’t hold up my end of our bargain very well. You gave me unconditional love and I could neither prevent your pain nor take it away quickly enough.
I cried hot tears and sobbed in the dark, then had to get up to write this. It must be the pain and sorrow I wasn’t able to express from the bimah when speaking, singing to lead the congregation during yizkor, or praying on this Yom Kippur, come out in a dream. My beloved father, who is gone these two years. My dear childhood friend Charisse, dead for so many years it’s been longer than the time we knew each other. The friends I’ve lost to cancer, including the one I heard about before going to bed, five months after her death.
The last flames of the yahrzeit candle flickered out as I wrote this. It’s time to stop crying and try to sleep again. Peace to all of you, who I loved so. Although I mourn you all, you are still present in my heart.